Amazon suspends Pegasus-owned NSO Group’s infrastructure and associated accounts

San Francisco: Following the massive Pegasus spyware controversy, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s Cloud arm, has shut down infrastructure and accounts associated with the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group.

An AWS spokesperson told Motherboard, “When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts.”

According to reports, Israeli firm NSO Group’s military-grade Pegasus spyware is being used by governments around the world to snoop on more than 50,000 people in 50 countries, including India.

According to an Amnesty International investigation, Pegasus compromised phones and routed data through commercial services such as AWS and Amazon CloudFront.

According to an investigation into a massive data leak, authoritarian governments have targeted human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers around the world with hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group.
According to the consortium’s analysis of the leaked data, at least ten governments were suspected of being NSO customers who were entering numbers into a system: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Guardian and 16 other media organisations’ investigation indicates widespread and ongoing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.

Pegasus is malware that infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing the tool’s operators to extract messages, photos, and emails, record calls, and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of over 50,000 phone numbers that are thought to have been identified as those of people of interest by NSO clients since 2016.

According to reports in India, the phone numbers of 40 journalists were targeted.

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